So, Monday morning bright and early I already had an idea for a blog post. It was a nice little lecture…and I was rather proud of it, too. And then Wednesday morning ruined it all. Because I realized what I had done – I’d lectured myself and not even realized it! And, well…I’d better share it with you, because otherwise the rest of this won’t make much sense.
We have an orchid plant that Daddy bought for Mom something like a year ago. The old flowers fell off long ago, and their stem died. But Mom has been keeping it in a nice spot where it can get light, and patiently giving it rainwater to drink in the hopes that it might bloom again. And guess what? It’s got a new stem growing with at least seven buds on it. I can’t wait to see it bloom!
The funny thing about plants is that they have to be thriving in order to really produce fruit. (Or in the case of the orchid, to bloom.) If you neglect it, it might shrivel up or become stunted or some other terrible thing, but basically it will put all its energy into simply surviving, and will produce little to no fruit. (Besides tomatoes, which seem to do better with a little stress…Have I mentioned that I love tomatoes?) What you put into a plant is what you will get out of it.
The same is true of our faith. If we set it in the light of God’s word and water it with prayer it will flourish, and it will produce fruit. But if we neglect it, it will wither and will do little more than survive. So if one is struggling because of a lack of spiritual fruit, it may be time to take care of the plant. What you put into it you will get out of it.
So that was on Monday. And then on Wednesday morning God used my little lecture to stomp on my own toes. You see, I can read my Bible all I want…but if I neglect to talk with the One who wrote it, I’m missing something huge.
And I have been. Prayer is something I’ve struggled with all my life. It’s like I have ADD when it comes to prayer. I can’t focus for more than a couple sentences. And it drives me insane. Because of this, I have found it difficult to motivate myself to pray more. The problem with that is that prayer is hard for me because I don’t do it regularly. And I don’t do it regularly because it’s hard. A very lovely vicious circle, that.
But it’s no excuse. It’s like not stretching because it hurts. Or not exercising because it’s exhausting. Or some such thing. The point is, I have no excuse for not talking to God. Prayer is a discipline, just like exercise. Yes, it is hard, but it’s good. Yes, it takes work, but it’s rewarding. And like water to a plant, it’s vital to our faith.
So I’m starting a prayer journal…actually, I’m re-starting it. I tried to use it several months ago and kind of sputtered out. Anyways, the point is I’ve actually been using it for three days in a row. (Not impressive, but an improvement.) I want to learn to pray, and I believe that with a little work and a lot of grace, God willing, I can. (Haha, the handy thing about that is that I know He wants me to learn it anyways, so I already know He will grant it me.) It will be a journey. It will be hard sometimes. But I know it is worth it.
So that’s where I am this week. Stomped toes, and a resolve to pray. I’m not entirely sure why God wanted me to post all that… (Honestly, it would have been so much more comfortable to stick with the lecture and leave it at that.) I suppose He wants me to humble myself! So there you have it. That was my little hypocrisy of the week.